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United Nations

Government and institution measures in response to COVID-19.

Government and institution measures in response to COVID-19.

Return to homepage  |  Last updated: 15 April, 2020

General measures

  • The UN Foundation, at the request of the World Health Organization (WHO), and in partnership with Swiss Philanthropy Foundation, created the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund on 13 March. This first-of-its-kind mechanism will mean companies, philanthropies, and individuals can all contribute to WHO’s work supporting countries, especially those with the weakest health systems, to prevent, detect, and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. At its launch Facebook agreed to match-fund up to $10m and Google committed to double match-funding up to $5m. As of 13 April, over $145m had been raised. According to WHO’s own Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan, there is a critical immediate funding need of $675 million through the end of April alone. Donations to the Fund will support immediate global efforts to:
    • Gather critical data about the virus itself and its spread, including by boosting countries’ laboratory capacity through training and equipment
    • Ensure patients get the care they need and frontline health workers get essential supplies and information to respond
    • Help develop and deploy best practice guidance so countries, communities, and health care providers can keep people safe
    • Guide and coordinate scientists around the world to rapidly develop vaccines, better diagnostic tests, and potential treatments
    • Ensure the public has accurate, science-based, and timely information to protect themselves, prevent infection, and care for those in need
  • On 23 March it was announced by Reuters that, according to Norwegian Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Soereide, the UN would create a global coronavirus fund to prevent the spread of coronavirus and support the treatment of patients worldwide
  • On 2 April, an Associated Press article outlined that UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres stated the UN is facing a cash crisis because of non-payment of dues by member states, which has been exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic. The UN chief said in a letter to the 193 member nations that unmet payments for regular budget operations have reached $2.27 billion “and we have no clear indication of when these payments might be received”. “Unpredictable cash inflows, exacerbated by the global crisis posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, seriously threaten” the UN’s ability to do its work, Mr Guterres said in the letter. He announced a temporary hiring freeze and urged all countries to pay their past and present dues and adopt measures to enable the UN to better cope with a cash crisis.
  • On 9 April, the WHO made a new funding appeal for $1bn to support its coronavirus efforts, as outlined in this Reuters article

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